Letter to the editor: Racism, prejudice need to be addressed

By JANELLE STOIKES | Norwalk

I am writing today regarding racism. With the march to the border, new immigration policies, and a pointless wall on the border, I feel it needs to be addressed.

Being from a small community, I know it can be hard to relate to the awful effects racism has on the world; it’s an appalling act that should never be taken lightly. Human rights are moral principles or social norms that describe certain standards of human behavior and are regularly protected. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence for all. These values are defined and protected by universal law. It declares that human rights are universal — to be enjoyed by all people, no matter who they are or where they live.

Racism is a learned behavior, and children are easily influenced by the world around them — family, friends, school, media — and they live in a very small world. They watch how you act, what you say, how you say it, and what you do and say when you don’t know they’re watching. They absorb it, and it becomes part of how they judge right and wrong and how to act accordingly. Think back to when you were a child, what you knew then, what you wish you had known, and what you know now. In times like these, you have to use this opportunity to teach about respect, tolerance, and discrimination.

Racism, prejudice, ignorance, discrimination, intolerance and hate speech are some of the evils that live in world we live in. These views lead people to view certain individuals or groups as inferior. Do people really think our small towns would exist as we know them without our Hispanic neighbors? Their contribution to our community has always had a positive effect; I can’t imagine our town without them. The new immigration policies are frightening, separating families, and innocent, vulnerable children are being kept in cages at “detention centers.” Some of those “detention centers” are old Wal-Marts or warehouses with chain-link cages they are not allowed to leave. They sleep on mats and use foil sheets for blankets, with no pillows, no nightlights, no bedtime stories.

These behaviors exist in the world, but they don’t have to exist in yours. We will all survive without them.

And without them, the world will be a better place for us all to live in.

Please use this moment to teach a child not only for one day, but also to make an impact who they will become, and love thy neighbor.

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